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Old 07-20-2009   #121
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 42
My condolences. I never knew the guy, but I can tell from the comments that he was well loved and respected.

I've thought quite a bit about my own mortality on the rivers, and wrote a song about the concept, called "River Monk"
Singer Songwriter Music - Death of a River Monk by Curtis Reed

"If I should die today spread my ashes in the boulder gardens
Hold no grudges against the river that let my troubles be forgotten
And give away that boating gear I've collected out in the trunk
And Lift a pint to mark the passing of a River Monk...

So gather on the bank...gather on the shore
The soul of our departed will boating with the Lord..."

God bless your departed friend, I hope you may find some peace knowing he passed while doing what he loved.

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Old 07-20-2009   #122
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 580
I never met Derk, but feel like I knew him from all of his posts here. Also, it hurts to lose someone who was part of the same, small Mines paddling community that fired my passion for the river a few years ago. As a Mines graduate, avid river runner, and noticing we shared many of the same friends, I am surprised our paths never crossed.

My prayers go out to his family and friends. We are losing too many good people this year!

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Old 07-20-2009   #123
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 20
I'm sure Derk shared this with lots of you, but I thought some of you might enjoy it. Spring break Derk took three of us to Fossil Creek (we drove all night, slept two hours in the car for the sunrise then hit the river for a LONG day of scraping along a beautifull travertine.) He took us there so we could run our first waterfalls on a "friendly" waterfall. Needless to say he ran it beautifully and we were a shit-show, but everyone had a great time.

No matter what, if there was a river near by Derk was happy, I remember him leaning out windows, and making me join him to see if the rivers and creeks we drove over were "happy." He loved life and that passion was contagious.

I hope this works, I don't know if you can view facebook videos but if not, befriend me and you can follow the links.

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Old 07-20-2009   #124
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,012
I only had the privilege of boating with Derk once but remember him as a truly great guy. I would loved to have hook up many more times. Truly sad. RIP Derk.
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Old 07-20-2009   #125
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2
I had the pleasure of watching Derk grow up and become the outstanding young man that he was. His loss is devastating. People may say that at least he died doing what he loved, but I think it is a better tribute to him to say that he lived doing what he loved. RIP Derk, we will sorely miss your smile and upbeat attitude.
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Old 07-20-2009   #126
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 148
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Awful news. Derk had talked about coming to squirt at the Rincon Rendezvous one of these years. We'll definitely miss him.
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Old 07-20-2009   #127
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1
Dirk was a great person. I knew him through the CSM Kayak Club. Dirk was a huge asset to the kayak club, whether serving as president, leading trips, teaching at pool sessions or heading up the Spring Icebreaker Race. His enthusiasm for the river was contagious and everyone in the club admired and respected him. I certainly did. Although I never got to kayak with Dirk, except for the occasional meeting at the whitewater park, we always talked about doing a trip together. I now wish I had spent more time with Dirk on the river. The loss of Dirk is a huge blow to the kayak club and the whole CSM community. We will miss him very much. We will miss his experience, his dedication, his brilliance, and his energy. I think Troy's suggestion for a memorial to Dirk is the least we can do to honor his memory. I am sure the CSM Kayak Club will be very willing to contribute to this memorial.

We will miss you dearly, Dirk.

Jim Horan
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Old 07-20-2009   #128
V for Victory
9300ft, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 329
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Very sad... may the flows of the eternal rapid be good.
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Old 07-20-2009   #129
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 490
On the way up on Saturday we were talking about Flowtorch's recent trip on the Salmon. He mentioned that Count was the only other kayaker. I'm not sure how it came up from that, but I laughed at his ubiquity and said "Derk's like the Bushwick Bill of kayaking". To be clear, that's complimentary.

I never knew Derk was so young, too. I won't say "where" to protect this fine establishment, but I think it's funny that the last time I saw him was about two or three years ago and it was over beers at a bar with a bunch of other boaters. I had no idea. I just assumed he was doing graduate courses at the Mines. But, I guess that would have made him 18 or so? Good on 'im for pulling it off so smooth...true hustla'.
Damn it feels good
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Old 07-20-2009   #130
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Pittsboro, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 8
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I met Derk through my best friend Christine and unfortunately never got to spend any time on the river with him. I remember first meeting him and being struck by how much energy he had crammed into that small frame! I knew immediately why he and Christine made such great friends. Anyone who loved kayaking and Journey as much as her, and who was as crazy energetic as she is, is pretty much a match made in heaven. I just want to send my love and support out to anyone and everyone who loved him, most especially his family.
~Shannon Ronan

We never know the worth of water until the well is dry.
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